Sarah Thornton with Michael Lewis: The Myths and Misconceptions About Breasts

An innovative investigation of the five strange worlds that worship women’s chests.

After years of biopsies, sociologist and bestselling author Sarah Thornton made the difficult decision to have a double mastectomy. But, after her reconstructive surgery, she was perplexed: What had she lost? And gained? An experienced sleuth, she resolved to venture behind the scenes to uncover the social and cultural significance of breasts.

Join us in person or online as Thornton talks with Michael Lewis and draws on what she learned from latest book, which excavates the diverse truths of mammary glands from the strip club to the operating room, from the nation’s oldest human milk bank to the fit rooms of bra designers. Thornton has insights from plastic surgeons, lactation consultants, body-positive witches, lingerie models, and “free the nipple” activists to explore the status of breasts as emblems of femininity. She examines how women’s chests have become a billion-dollar business, as well as a stage for debates about race, class, gender and desire.

Blending sociology, reportage, and personal narrative with refreshing optimism and wit, Thornton has one overriding ambition―to liberate breasts from what she says are centuries of patriarchal prejudice.


Thornton photo by Aya Brackett; Lewis photo by Tabitha Soren.

Image - Sarah Thornton

Sarah Thornton

Sociologist; Author, Tits Up: What Sex Workers, Milk Bankers, Plastics Surgeons, Bra Designers, and Witches Tell Us about Breasts; X @EyesThornton

Image - Michael Lewis

In Conversation with Michael Lewis

Author; Columnist, Bloomberg View; Contributing Writer, Audible